Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Four Inches

You are about to read my first attempts at screenwriting. The following scene is inspired by actual events.


A Man and a woman are in bed. The woman is of average size and is curled up like a cocoon, transforming her body into the size of a small child. The man is stretched across the bed with two pillows stuffed under his head and one tucked under his leg. He snuggles another pillow with one arm, and with his other hand, he clutches a jar of Vicks vaporub. He tosses and turns, shoving the woman to the edge of the bed.

(elbowing the man in the ribs)

You’re hogging the bed. Move.

The man wiggles in the bed, groaning.

I’m measuring my butt. It’s four inches.

No way. Your butt isn’t even close to four inches.

Give me your hand then. I’ll show you.

Husband reaches for Wife’s hand. She wiggles away. He reaches again, accidentally thrusting the jar of Vicks into Wife’s nose.

(throwing jar of Vicks across the room)


Why did you throw my Vicks?

It was in the bed! In my face!

Wife sits up. She is now yelling.

Why the hell are you sleeping with a jar of Vicks anyway? It’s giving
me a headache!

I NEED IT! I’m sick!

You’re so weird. Nobody sleeps while clutching a jar of Vicks.

She squirms again, fighting for a few extra inches of space.

You’re still hogging the bed.

(throwing up his arms in exasperation)

I told you! It’s four inches!

There is no way your ass is four inches! MOVE OVER!

At this point, when one of us busted out laughing, the conversation ended. I don’t know who started laughing first, but despite the fact that he felt horrible with his sinus infection and that I had just dealt with a crying child minutes earlier, we both just cracked up.

It’s a given that my husband hogs the bed every night. He uses about 10 pillows and while trying to get comfortable, kicks his legs around and destroys the blankets. I use one pillow, and if I sleep alone, I don’t even have to make the bed. In fact, you can barely tell someone slept in it. When my husband sleeps, it literally looks like a tornado twisted, turned, and ripped the sheets right off the bed.

With a larger bed, there would be more real estate to go around, but after sleeping this way for years, maybe we wouldn’t sleep as well. And even if we did, we wouldn’t be able to have such interesting conversations, or arguments, in the middle of the night. It is true, that last night, he was actually measuring—in the dark, with his hand, mind you—the distance from the edge of our mattress to the side of his rear. Because I was forced (after the jar of Vicks went crashing into the wall) to feel the mattress, I can verify that he was right: only four inches saved his butt, not his whole body, just his butt, from falling off the bed. That’s because the rest of his body was in the middle, and mostly on my side, of the bed. Imagine a letter V. That’s him. Upper torso on Wife’s side. Butt on his side. Legs on Wife’s side.

I suppose we could get a king sized mattress. That would solve this bed hogging issue. I wonder though: would we miss the issue? Every night, he hogs the bed, and it drives me nuts. Every night, I read with the light on until midnight, and that drives him nuts. Either way, when he is out of town for some reason, causing me to sleep alone, I admit to feeling a little lonely. I actually miss being thumped by the occasional elbow or knee. And when he is away from home, he never sleeps well. I doubt he would admit it, but I bet he misses my light.

In a marriage, we can fight and argue and drive each other crazy, but I guess if we can laugh about things, that always makes situations better. The things our spouses do that drives us nuts are usually the things we love the most. We may not admit it, but it’s true. In any event, a good sense of humor certainly can help. Marriage can be many things, as well as a great source of entertainment. When I’m particularly annoyed or frustrated, I always think, “if someone were watching this on a big screen, they would think we were quite funny.” I suppose that’s true for most couples, so we should laugh more. And, in our case, forget about mattress shopping. We’ll keep the queen.

Book Talk: Still reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Yes, I know, it’s taking me awhile. Not because it isn’t good; I’m just trying to savor it. And for once, I don’t have anything waiting in the wings anyway, so I might as well go slowly. I’m busy writing, and any leftover time I have to myself has been devoted to movies.

Movie Talk: Last night we watched the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It’s something everyone should see, and I hope the success at the Oscars brings more attention to the film and the issue, especially with our politicians. Even my 6-year-old is aware of the issue and is dedicated to fighting global warming. Surely our government can be more committed.

Miles ran yesterday: five
Miles to run today: zero!

1 comment:

Seymore Butts said...

I am greatly relieved that your husband does not have a 4 inch ass. That would break an important rule: Never date a man with a smaller ass than your own.